14 Sep 2014
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Athens Clarke County Names STAR Students and Teachers

Eliza Rothstein, Mike Xiao, Mika Broocks awarded academic designation.

Athens Clarke County Names STAR Students and Teachers


Three students have been named STAR students for the Clarke County School District. They are Mike Xiao from Cedar Shoals High School and Mika Broocks and Eliza Rothstein from Clarke Central.

A STAR student has the highest score on the Scholastic Aptitude Test in one sitting on the three-part SAT taken through the November test date of his or her senior year. A STAR student also must have a G.P.A. that puts them in the top 10 percent or top 10 students of their class.

A senior at Cedar Shoals, Mike is the son of Wen Zhang and Shiyun Xiao. He plans to get a bachelor's in molecular biology, genetics or neuroscience, hoping to become a doctor focusing on anti-aging and disease prevention. An all-state solo pianist winner, he enjoys music and graphic design, and he is on the school’s cross country team. Mike is a member of the Interact Club, academic team, the marching band and the Honor Society. He chose his AP English teacher, Stephen Castile, as his STAR Teacher.

“It is always especially satisfying to receive an award that is determined by a student,” said Castile. “To hear directly from a student that one has impacted a student's life, is the greatest gift a teacher can receive.”

A Clarke Central senior, Mika is the daughter of Kazuko and Martin Broocks. She plans on majoring in a biological science field – biochemistry, biophysics or molecular biology. She is involved in Mu Alpha Theta, the Honor Society, Key Club and Robotics Club.

Sara Cross, Mika’s gifted resources teacher and third through fifth grade advanced math teacher at Barrow Elementary School, was selected as her STAR Teacher.

“Much like a proud parent, a teacher celebrates in the successes of her students,” said Cross. “To have one of my former students reach this level of distinction as a STAR student, in a class of highly talented students, is truly a joy and further evidence of the exceptional quality of all teachers in our school district.”

The daughter of Linda Henneman and Mitch Rothstein, Eliza Rothstein is a senior at Clarke Central High Schoo. She plans on majoring in political philosophy, policy and law with a minor in ethics or Spanish. She has been a 4-year lead closing attorney on the Clarke Central Mock Trial team. Eliza is also a varsity tennis player.

Eliza is president of the Honor Society and is active in the Athens Federation of Temple Youth. She chose her AP English Language/American Literature teacher Ian Altman as her STAR Teacher.

“It always feels good to know that your work is well regarded by your colleagues.  It is something else, though, when a student, and especially a student like Eliza Rothstein, tells you that what you've done has affected her in such a profound way.  This is an honor that will not diminish with time,” said Altman.

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